Rex Gill, 41, was a Summerland resident shot outside the Kamloops Comfort Inn and Suites on Jan. 23. His homicide was considered related to a similar shooting that took place the same morning in Kamloops. RCMP are now saying that this is possibly a case of mistaken identity. Photo from Facebook Rex Gill, 41, was a Summerland resident shot outside the Kamloops Comfort Inn and Suites on Jan. 23. His homicide was considered related to a similar shooting that took place the same morning in Kamloops. RCMP are now saying that this is possibly a case of mistaken identity. Photo from Facebook

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

The first bullet erupted from a car window hitting no one, but the next shots took the life of Rex Gill.

A Penticton man is recounting the morning he watched his friend, a 41-year-old Summerland resident, get gunned down outside of the Kamloops Comfort Inn and Suites on Jan. 23.

RCMP immediately linked Gill’s death to another Kamloops shooting that took place the same morning outside of a different hotel.

“I was standing right beside him when it happened,” said the man.

“I was two feet away from him, having a smoke. Then a car pulled up beside the truck we were standing beside, took one shot and hit the tailgate … then they took four more shots at us,” said the man. “I dove behind the truck and turned just as Rex was hit, so I watched him get shot.”

Police said early on that the deaths were linked to organized crime, noting that Gill was not previously known to them, while the other victim, Cody Marcel Mathieu, 33, was linked to the drug trade. The witness to Gill’s death, who wishes to remain anonymous for safety and privacy concerns, knew him personally said there was no chance he was involved in any type of drug trade.

Related: Penticton victim in Kamloops shooting may be a case of mistaken identity

“It was definitely a case of mistaken identity – he had nothing to do with the drug trade anywhere and let alone in Kamloops.”

The man explained that he and Gill were in the city for work, and were outside smoking when the gunfire erupted. He said he gave his statement to Kamloops RCMP, who have not been in touch with him since.

“Apparently (the shooter) was the same person (who attacked Mathieu). The description of the vehicle or something was the same so it was the same person,” said the witness.

Related: Penticton man killed in Kamloops shooting

A release recently issued by the Kamloops RCMP said the two ongoing homicide investigations are being handled by the Special Crimes Unit, who are treating them as top priorities. The release also said suspects have been identified for these two homicides but no arrests have been made.

“It’s bothered me that the cops say the public have no fear of being in danger because we’re just the public. But we had nothing to do with it and one of us is dead because of it. The public does have something to fear, because otherwise, we’d be fine.”

The witness said Gill’s death left a lasting impact on him, deeply shaking his sense of security.

“I don’t go anywhere; I go to work and stay in a motel. I don’t leave, I can’t even go out for a walk or nothing. Just because it was pretty scary.”

Related: UPDATE: Kamloops shootings linked to organize crime

Matthew Baran, executive director of Ooknakane Friendship Centre and a personal friend of Gill’s, is also upset with how information was released in regards to the shooting, claiming the police should have taken more care when they “portrayed Gill in the drug trade.”

Baran said he has spoken with Gill’s family since the most recent RCMP release about his homicide, and they are disappointed in the lack of communication.

“The RCMP didn’t contact them directly to notify them (about the mistaken identity). That would have been more appropriate than releasing it in a news release that was somewhat focusing on another situation…” said Baran.

Baran said ‘it was not a revelation to the family’ that Gill’s death was likely a case of mistaken identity.

“It’s unfortunate that the RCMP painted the situation with that brush. I understand that they have to do what they have to do,” said Baran. “But it was a little premature to make the suggestion and imply that he was involved or invested in that situation. It just wasn’t normal to his character.”

Baran said those who knew Gill “take those experiences and share them with other people” in order to honour his memory.

“Make use of good teachers by teaching and sharing with others. Be selfless, be helpful. Be a good person, that’s how you carry his memory on.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

RCMP gather on Rogers Place in Kamloops, a short road just off Rogers Way in the Aberdeen neighbourhood, where Rex Gill’s body was found on Jan. 23. (Dave Eagles/KTW photo)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Police arsenal deployed in Langley to avoid potentially violent situation

Mounties arrest armed Vancouver man after Tasering him on Willoughby side street

This year’s Canada Day parade in Aldergrove unlike any before due to COVID-19

Families lined six kilometres of local streets in socially distant groups for the Wednesday procession

Nurses make house calls in Langley pilot program

United Way Lower Mainland is providing extended nurse visits on porches or curbside

Giants add two imports top roster

New additions from Sweden and Slovakia

VIDEO: Langley ecologist takes folks on virtual walk along the Houston Trail

Professor explains more about native and non-native plants growing in Derby Reach Regional Park

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Ottawa jail inmates argue anti-COVID measures a breach of charter rights

The prisoners allege guards did not wear masks until April 25

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

President Donald Trump said the jobs report shows the economy is “roaring back”

Epstein pal arrested, accused of luring girls for sex abuse

Ghislaine Maxwell was in an intimate relationship with Epstein for years

B.C. repairs COVID-19 emergency order for local government

Ombudsperson shut out as his recommendations implemented

Most Read